Charlize Theron is still dealing with “trauma” since the night her mom, Gerda Maritz, shot and killed the actress’s dad, Charles Theron.
In a new interview with Town & Country magazine, the “Monster” actress shared whether the troubling moment prompted her to commit to combating violence against women.
“I would say this: It’s a simple correlation to make,” she said. “But I think it’s way more complicated than having just one night of trauma in your life.”
The South Africa native, 48, added, “With or without that, gender-based violence is so in your face in South Africa and globally. It’s hard to not be aware of these things just purely by being a woman.”
In June 1991, the “Mad Max: Fury Road” star’s father, Charles, drunkenly threatened the then-15-year-old and her mom.
“My father was so drunk that he shouldn’t have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun,” she told NPR in December 2019. “My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door because he was trying to push through the door.”
Charlize continued, “So both of us were leaning against the door from the inside to have him not be able to push through. He took a step back and just shot through the door three times.
“None of the bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle.”
In order for Maritz to save herself and her daughter, she shot her husband, killing him. Since his death was in self-defense, Charlize’s mom was not charged.
The Oscar winner said that her father was a “very sick man” and had been an “alcoholic” her entire life.
“I only knew him one way, and that was as an alcoholic,” she revealed. “It was a pretty hopeless situation. Our family was just kind of stuck in it.
“And the day-to-day unpredictability of living with an addict is the thing that you sit with and have kind of embedded in your body for the rest of your life, more than just this one event of what happened one night.”
The shooting forever changed Charlize’s life and she now works to bring awareness to gender-based violence.
Under her foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, the “Devil’s Advocate” actress co-launched the #TogetherForHer initiative to help combat pandemic-era violence worldwide and in South Africa.